Toyota’s 2019 4Runner TRD Pro Is Old-School, But In A Very Charming Way

There aren’t many SUVs left with a body-on-frame structure, with practically everyone going for a monocoque frame. Thus, the 2019 Toyota 4Runner TRD Pro can feel dated to those who don’t know what it stands for. Those who do, though, will probably love it for its refreshing simplicity and honest character.

If you must have the latest and greatest in creature comforts, infotainment technology and driver assistance systems, then clearly the 4Runner is not the one for you. If, on the other hand, you’re looking for a reliable family truck that can haul your family in superb comfort and is able to take you off-road, then the 4Runner TRD Pro is one of the best choices out there.

Toyota made some hardware changes for the 2019MY, including the adoption of 2.5-inch Fox shocks all around, with the rear ones featuring remote reservoirs and the front one adding one inch of lift. This apparently makes the TRD Pro version not only more comfortable on the road, according to this review from the Straight Pipes, but also one of the most capable, though indirect, rivals to Jeep’s Wrangler Rubicon.

The TRD Pro variant of the 4Runner also comes with an electronic-locking rear differential and Toyota’s Crawl feature for better off-road capabilities. The standard Multi-Terrain Select system allows you to choose the mode that best matches the conditions through a dial when off-roading , with the 2019 4Runner TRD Pro grouping the off-road control switches on an overhead console, which is always cool to have.

The single powerplant available is Toyota’s bulletproof 4.0-liter V6 unit with VVT-I, kicking out 270hp and 278lb-ft of torque through a five-speed automatic transmission. All 4Runners come with a tow rating of 5,000 pounds.

Combine all this with the TRD Pro-exclusive Voodoo Blue paint finish and really strong resale value on the used market, and suddenly it isn’t that hard to see why, for a number of customers, the Toyota 4Runner TRD Pro is one of the most charming SUVs in the market today.


  • SpongeBob99Swell

    The old-school character aside, it’s just interesting that the 4Runner is pretty much one of the last SUVs to still exist on a truck-based body frame, which in my book makes the 4Runner stand out nowadays in the automotive world…

    …meanwhile millions of people, day after day, are interested in soccermom crossovers as we all know by this point.

    • ace_9

      And maybe, just maybe, it also has something to do with the fact, that 99% of people don’t need the off-road capabilities and manufacturers are actually happy about that, because it might be news for you, but they are forced to lower the emissions and consumption and it is a little bit difficult with heavy body-on-frame truck with its aerodynamics and power hungry proper 4×4 drive system. But, as I’m sure you already suspect, I also have a little crossover, so what do I know… right?

      • SpongeBob99Swell

        ….good point. Thanks for pointing that out. 🙂

        ..and I didn’t even knew you own a crossover, so.. I beg your pardon..

        • dumblikeyou2

          What point did he make? He’s just defending the fact that he bought an oversized grocery-getter and shamed you for taking pleasure in an actual sport utility vehicle. Don’t apologize to him for schooling you in his sarcastic nature. Here, I’ll tell him to go screw for you.

          • SpongeBob99Swell

            Then again…. I can see what he means. My bad.

    • brn

      Plenty of BOF SUVs still available, all of them are expensive:
      Jeep Wrangler
      Toyota 4Runner
      Chevrolet Tahoe
      Ford Expedition
      Chevrolet Suburban
      GMC Yukon
      Nissan Armada
      Lexus GX
      Infiniti QX80
      Cadillac Escalade
      Toyota Sequoia
      Lincoln Navigator
      Lexus LX
      Mercedes-Benz G-Class
      Toyota Land Cruiser
      Land Rover LR4

      What’s interesting is that what is one of the most capable SUVs, the Jeep Grand Cherokee, has never been BOF.

  • SteersUright

    The only issues I take with the 4runner, having owned one, is the slightly unstable high speed/highway ride and the pathetically outdated inefficient, underpowered drivetrain. Otherwise, it continues to be an awesome SUV with real off-road cred that has been unforgivably deserving of a proper Jeep Wrangler style overhaul/renewal by Toyota.

    • ACM1899

      Agreed! Not enough power with the V6 having owned one.

  • john1168

    Needs more power and a modern transmission! Maybe a 300hp direct injected 3.5L V6 with an 8+speed auto transmission would do the trick. Otherwise it’s a pretty awesome off roader. I saw a video of this thing on youtube get stuck in a really deep (maybe 2.5 feet deep?) and large mud puddle with large chunks of ice. The driver needed about 5 minutes but he got it out without any assistance. And he forgot to lock the 4wd too (terminology may be incorrect). I thought for sure he wasn’t getting out but he got it out. I was seriously impressed.

  • Not tired of winning yet

    Seems like all Toyotas are overpriced for old technology. I’d like to Tacoma but it’s really hard to justify a $45,000 price when I can get a raptor for not much more.

    • Smith

      Way to go comparing apples to a hunk of coal.

      • New email old me

        I think you mean a new shiney apple to old an over priced hunk of coal. An long as people like you buy them they will take your money. Smart people like me will have the courage to go against the Taco lemmings; and hey maybe you will get lucky and get whos frame does not rust.

  • Bash

    Probably the only true 4×4 nowadays that pay attributes to the ones made in the nineties. i guess. and I just love it for that.

  • Smith

    This TRD version makes the 4Runner look like a piece of junk. Call it Old School, but it looks more like just OLD!

    • brn

      Yep. We’re complementing Toyota for charging a ton of money for a dated design?

  • David De Fortier

    I dont like the front end styling, but everything else looks very nice

  • yhoshua

    I’m not a Jeep guy (I run Suzuki Samurai’s), but for a 4Runner to be in the competition it needs 2 solid axles more than ladder frame construction. Toyota couldn’t even get that simple formula right with the FJ.

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